At his time at Barcelona, Pep Guardiola was renowned for bringing young players through the ranks and into the first team. Under his guidance, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Pedro emerged from zeroes to European and World Champions and have now been part of top football for many years.
Although this trend was less pronounced during his time at Bayern Munich, it is the expectation that he will utilize the vast talent pool at his disposal in the Manchester City youth ranks. Although not part of the Man City youth setup, he has already shown a willingness to “bet on talent” with both Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus blossoming under his guidance.
Today, we are going to use the Football Manager database to figure out who the next stars are in the Man City youth setup. Most football fans already know of the Football Manager Database and buy the new edition of Football Manager each and every year (yours truly included).
For those of you in the dark, the FM database is basically the largest football scouting network in the world and the ability of the game to predict the superstars of tomorrow is world famous. So famous that in 2008, Everton signed an official deal to use the database to search for players. To name a few, the FM database predicted the rise of Sergio Aguero, Juan Mata and rumoured Man City target Hector Bellerin well before anyone but their mother and youth coach had heard about them.
Patrick Roberts is ready to come home
Position: Right Winger but can play all attacking positions
Team: Currently loaned at to Celtic
Ability and potential according to FM: Regular rotation next year
Contract until: June 2020
Patrick Roberts is a winger of the modern mould. Able to play both as a centre forward and as a left winger, he feels most at home playing on the right wing. From here, he drifts into the pitch with the ball at his left foot. At a meagre height of 167cm, strong dribbling skills and a low centre of gravity, he has naturally drawn comparisons to Leo Messi.
At Celtic, Patrick Roberts has had an outstanding season featuring 26 times in the league, scoring four goals and making an impressive tally of 10 assists. He also left his mark on the Champions League and scored his first and so far only goal in the competition back in December against… yes, no other than the club that owns him, Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola has already indicated that Patrick Roberts will be at the Etihad next season and it will be exciting to see what the England Under-20 player can accomplish.
Aleix Garcia should see more action next year
Position: Defensive or central midfielder
Team: U-23 having made three Premier League appearances
Ability and Potential according to FM: Squad player next season with potential to be a starter
Contract until: June 2020
“He was a little bit shy at the beginning, but he’s a player with something special. I’m really pleased.”
Those were the words uttered by Pep Guardiola about Aleix Garcia, following the 5-1 win in the FA Cup replay against Huddersfield Town. In the game Aleix Garcia played the full 90 minutes in his favoured defensive midfield position.
Garcia is a classical Spanish deep lying midfielder and not all too dissimilar to Pep Guardiola himself in his heyday. Although not as strong and as good a tackler as other defensive midfielders, he makes up for this with his reading of the game and his technical abilities. With Xabi Alonso retiring at the end of the season, Spain just might have a natural heir already in Aleix Garcia.
Tosin Adarabioyo is the next Vincent Kompany
Position: Centre back
Ability and Potential according to FM: Squad player with potential to be a regular starter in 2-3 years
Contract until: June 2017
The former captain of the u-18 side, Tosin Adarabioyo has long been a recognized talent within the Man City youth ranks. This has been rewarded with regular training with the first team. However, his first team appearances have been few and far between. The only notable exception being his full appearance in the dead rubber game against Celtic in the Champions League.
With the lack of playing time, both Everton and Tottenham were said to be interested in the youngster in the winter transfer window, but ultimately, club and player decided it was best to stay at the Etihad.
Currently, contract negotiations are at a stand-still for the player, whose contract is up this summer. What will happen is anyone’s guess, but it would be surprising if the player – who has been at the club since the age of five – left Man City.
If he does not, surely we can expect to see him more regularly in games to come?